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New depression and anxiety treatment goals defined

Mental health leaders reconcile provider and consumer expectations

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2001 To be successful, treatment for the more than 20 million Americans suffering from depression and anxiety must aim not for partial improvement of the illness but for remission (virtual elimination of symptoms) and complete recovery of quality of life, according to an expert panel comprised of leading U.S. mental health clinicians, researchers, consumers and advocates convened by the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) on Friday, Nov. 30th, in New York City.

The panels ability to find a common ground between the medical and consumer models of treatment for people with depression and anxiety is a major achievement, said Michael M. Faenza, M.S.S.W., NMHA president and CEO and moderator of the roundtable, The Science of Remission, The Art of Recovery. Participants agreed that the mental health community must recognize that remission is a step on the way to recovery of the whole person and that the journey includes improved evaluation of illness severity, greater acceptance of remission and recovery as the desired outcome for patients, and better consideration of patients culture, age, gender and quality of life.

In addition to the need for mental health professionals to communicate that recovery is possible, stated the participants, consumers must take ownership of their illness and treatment, challenging their providers to explore different options if recovery is not being achieved.

NMHA held the roundtable to address the disconnect between provider and consumer expectations about treatment and outcomes. Panelists discussed research findings of medical and non-medical services and supports for both remission and recovery. NMHA will seek to publish the conference proceedings, making recommendations that the medical and consumer communities can use to improve treatment and patient quality of life.

-Discussing The Go
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Contact: Marion E. Glick
marion_glick@porternovelli.com
212-601-8273
Porter Novelli
3-Dec-2001


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